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Showing posts from July, 2020

‘Now they don’t put people in jail or black out news. They simply kill'

Excerpts from “Halla Bol: The Death and Life of Safdar Hashmi” by Sudhanva Deshpande, LeftWord Books, January 2020: *** JANUARY 2, 1989. Safdar’s Death I was back at the hospital in the morning. Soon enough, the crowd had swelled to well beyond what was there the previous evening. The news of the attack had made it to the front pages of many newspapers. By now we knew that the attackers had been led by Mukesh Sharma, a Congress leader in Sahibabad, and a goon. The Congress party was in power at the Centre, Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister, and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, where Jhandapur is located, was Narain Dutt Tiwari, another Congressman. Thus, when Buta Singh, the union home minister, visited the hospital that day, he was confronted by a furious crowd, which didn’t let him visit the ICU and see Safdar. So, he met the doctors, and apparently said that the government would pay for whatever treatment Safdar required, including brain surgery.

Good food, extra rest: Little attention on special needs of pregnancy in rural India

Excerpts from the Jaccha Baccha-Survey (JABS) of pregnant and nursing women in rural India conducted in June 2019, coordinated by Jean Drèze, Reetika Khera and Anmol Somanchi:
*** The Jaccha-Baccha Survey (JABS), conducted by student volunteers in June 2019, took place in six states: Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. In each state, the survey teams visited 10 to 12 randomly-selected anganwadis (spread over two blocks, in the same district) and interviewed as many as possible of the pregnant and nursing women (women who delivered a baby during the six months preceding the survey) registered at those anganwadis: 342 and 364 respondents, respectively.

Govt schemes to modernise madrasas can’t provide quality education to poor Muslims

Excerpts from the “independent and non-sponsored” report, “A New Agenda for the Education Of Indian Muslims in the 21st Century”, by John Kurrien, PhD:
*** No discussion on the education of Muslims in contemporary India can be complete without discussing the role of madrasas. A significant contribution of the 2006 Sachar Committee Report was its frank and illuminating discussion on the role of madrasas in the education of Muslims in India. The main issues that it dealt with and the solutions that it articulated are still relevant to any discussion on their role in a new education agenda for Indian Muslims.
Beginning with the Committee’s articulation of the significant position of madrasas in the life of Indian Muslims, and the suspicion that madrasas evoked, are concerns that continue to resonate a decade later after its Report’s publication:
“Madarsas, through which the Community ensures that its future generations aquire knowledge of Islam, have become a symbol of Muslim identity in …